Consumers Give Facebook Shopping a C+

This past holiday season, consumers had more ways to shop than ever before, online, offline, mobile, and even through Facebook. eCommerce company Baynote, put together a report card for each of these areas based on a consumer survey. The results aren’t surprising but still interesting, particularly as they relate to social media.

Overall, 84% of consumers said their online shopping experience was “good” or “excellent.” This was only 78% last year.

As you can see from the chart, retail websites were rated highest across the board.  The biggest problem mentioned in this area was the ease of finding the product they wanted. 44.1% said they were frustrated by too many options when they used a searched engine. After that, they found that many of the offered links led to generic pages or sites that didn’t actually carry the product. Obviously, there’s room for improvement here.

Facebook Moves Steadily Towards One Billion Users

1,000,000,000,

or one thousand million,

also known as a milliard,

or in common parlance, “a whole lot of” whatever it is you’re counting.

In this case, it’s people using Facebook, which makes that number even more insane.

An analyst from iCrossing has made his mark today by predicting when Facebook will hit this auspicious number.

He made allowances for the natural slowdown of early adopting countries, then calculated in the effect of new countries joining the fray and here’s what he got:

Date of predicted splash down? August 2012. I can already hear the bookies in Vegas laying down odds.

Bing Tops Yahoo for Search Share in December

Microsoft’s Bing search engine grabbed 15.1% of the total search pie in December, a rise of .01% over November. Nothing to write home about? Actually, it is, because with that .01%, Bing slid past Yahoo to become number two on the charts.

Here are the numbers straight from comScore:

USAToday says the jockeying for position was due to a partnership agreement between Microsoft and Yahoo that gave Microsoft the searches so Yahoo could save money.

I say, it was the Bumble that earned Bing that second place ribbon. From Black Friday on, Bing flooded the TV ad market with commercials based on Rankin-Bass’ classic retelling of Rudolph. The Bumble used Bing to find out how to be scary. Yukon searched for a hot yoga studio, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus went bubble wrap crazy.

Yes, Virginia, There are Social Media Sites Other Than Facebook

The Usual Suspects: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+

Yes, Google+, because even though they don’t have the user impact of the other three, they get the press. So what about Tumblr? According to numbers from eMarketer, the graphically-oriented blogging site has a few more users than Google+ (15.9 million vs 15.2) so why aren’t we talking about them every week?

I’ll go you one better. Have you seen Pinterest? This photo cataloging site makes Tumblr look like War and Peace by text comparison. This hot, new social media site encourages you to “pin” photos of items into like categories. You can use mundane categories such as foods or fashions, but Pinterest would like you to be more cerebral. “Things on my bucket list,” “Motivation” and “Kid-spiration.”

Store Locator Makes a Big Splash in the Latest S.M.A.R.T. Report

It’s Millennial Media S.M.A.R.T. report time again. In this round, we’re looking at mobile advertising reach and targeting in November 2011.

Let’s start with the Post-Click Campaign Action Mix. Here we find that Store Locator is up 47% month-over-month. Not surprising, given that November was the big push to get shoppers into stores for holiday sales. Going along with this was an 64% rise in m-commerce, still, m-commerce as the final action is on the low side.

Biggest click actions? Enroll/subscribe, application downloads and store locator shared the top three slots.

When it comes to advertiser goals, there was a shift toward lead generation, making it the second most mentioned campaign goal (25%, an increase of 63% month-over-month). Sustained in-market presence was still number one, but only with 28%. Millennial Media says the shift was due mostly to financial and educational verticals aggressively tracking down leads for their products.

Myspace TV: The Next Step in the Comeback

I’ve always been a fan of the underdog, so maybe that’s why I feel obligated to wave the pom-poms for Myspace. They’ve got a new team, a legitimate celebrity backer in Justin Timberlake and a snazzy new goal, to become the home of what’s new in entertainment.

Yesterday, Justin Timberlake took the stage at CES 2012 to announce a partnership between Myspace and Panasonic. They call it Myspace TV. Not a groundbreaking name, but it says it.

Myspace TV will be a series of channels accessible through the new Panasonic VIERA connected HDTVs. Each channel will have a social component that will allow viewers to chat with friends about what they’re seeing in real time.

Initially, it will be about the music, to go along with the Myspace.com revamp. Then, they plan to expand into movies, sports and broadcast TV.

Report Says In-Game Purchases Will Rise to $4.8 Billion in 2016

I swore I would never do it. My friend swore she’d never do it. And still, after months of fighting the urge, we both did it. We both spent money in-game in order to advance play. A mighty eagle, here, an extra life there. The question now is, where will it end?

If Juniper Research is right, it may not end until we’re both out on the street begging for change in order to buy Words with Friends tokens.

Juniper says we (all of us, not just my friend and I) spent $2.1 billion on in-game purchases in 2011. They expect that number to rise to $4.8 billion in 2016.